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Dear Class of 2020 message

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Dear Class of 2020,

YOU will have one incredible story to tell.

NO ONE walking this beautiful green EARTH can tell with vivid detail of what you have experienced in your graduating year.  Yeah.  Kind of a pain in the rear.

Instead of moments like senior trips, skip day, a series of lasts and surviving senioritis, you learned new terms and new normal like…

Social Distancing.  Covid-19, Corona, isolation and serious concern.

Events were postponed.  Then, cancelled.  Memories altered.  Freedom…delayed.

YOU will be defined by the virtues COMPASSION, RESOLVE, PATIENCE and OPTIMISM!

Creativity is your new best friend.  New altered memories are now ridin’ shotgun….and 6 feet apart.

WE ALL YEARN for hugs, Backyard family BBQ’s, DINING inside, concerts, mom and pop businesses that flourish and of course, sports!

We aspire to be NORMAL.  Like 2019 normal is fine.  Lots of past years lived through normal their senior year.  You are living in unique and interesting times.  You share a kinship with those classes of 1918, 1930, 1941 and 2001.  Those classes also endured hardship and laid down great roots.  You have great roots and can weather the strongest of storms.

YOU have endured 2020.

You are a fighter and are determined to win.  That win just might not come today.  But it’s out there.

So, what have you learned during this time of suck-bucket?

Online class is no substitute for the real thing.  Your teachers love you and they are trying their best.  The struggle is real for them as well.

There has GOT TO BE something better than Netflix and couch time.  Every day.  What day is it?

When you started your senior year, very few were talking about the Spanish Flu that started in 1918. And not a single classmate knew who Joe Exotic was.  Oh man.  If only we could go back.  But, in life…it’s best to live in the present with an eye to the future.  So that’s what we’ll do.

Donning your cap and gown in your living room sounds odd, but you will be surrounded by the loved ones that will be in your corner forever.  Some day that support will be far away.  Embrace this time with them, for time is fleeting.

Take this moment to embrace some old school, low technology efforts.  Letters and cards have never been more important yet are rarely written and sent.  Be an outlier.  Get the pen.  Make an impact.  You won’t regret it.

Chameleons change colors for their protection.  Use this time to change your colors.  Adapt.  Learn a skill.  Pick up a language, Buena Suerta!’

Develop new hobbies.  This is what every SENIOR…citizen learns when they retire….How to stay busy.  Engaged.  What will get you OUT of the shower in the morning?  You just happen to be getting this life lesson 55 years early.  Yes.  Sorry.  You will probably be working until age 73.   Enjoy the journey.  Find something you like to do.

As for the whole career thing…you have one impressive line on your resume.  You entered a workforce that was never more uncertain…well, at least for the last 91 years.  So, you got that going for you.  You are creative, persistent and optimistic – three qualities that are in high demand with every single employer.

Cherish your classmates of 2020.  Some will be your best friends for life.  For others, you will meet your best friends later in life.  Be open to new relationships.

This pandemic is only temporary, the person you are through this and beyond will leave a lasting imprint on our community.

BE a chameleon.

Class of 2020, Go change the world !

Tony Michaels / Sioux City, IA